Regardless of how much a team leader or department manager encourages dialogue, teamwork, and other beneficial and motivational behaviors, how a leader acts in difficult or high-stakes moments is what makes the strongest impression on employees, shaping lasting impressions about their manager and affecting their commitment to work.
In this article from Harvard Business Review, business-performance experts David Maxfield and Justin Hale note that such critical moments represent only about five percent of the typical work experience. But in those moments, leaders who lose their temper or act on emotion, shut down communication, or are otherwise rash, combative, or impetuous lose the team's confidence and commitment in all situations—even if, at most other times, the leader demonstrates behavior that would cultivate a positive work environment.
In other words: Planners or other managers who give in to a moment of losing control can cause months of departmental damage. Maxfield and Hale provide a step-by-step guide for handling difficult or high-stakes business situations the right way.